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Beloit teacher Jennifer Walsh retires after 32 years in the District
BELOIT—Jennifer Walsh has taught students in the School District of Beloit for her entire career as an educator. Now, after 32 years she has decided to retire from the job she loves.
After attending the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh for her undergraduate program, she was certified in education and special education. She also has received a master’s degree from UW-Whitewater in special education.
Walsh was inspired to teach after an experience in high school where young special education students would come to the school swimming pool for a session on Fridays and they needed high school students to help.
“I was a swimmer, and I enjoyed the water,” she said. “I wanted to be part of that. It was because of that program that I decided to become a teacher.”
In her past 32 years in the district, Walsh started her journey at Morgan School. She then moved to Aldrich for six years, spent a year at Burdge, was at Royce for 13 years, and for the last 12 years has taught at Hackett school.
Walsh has taught first through fifth grade in both elementary education and special education classes. Her favorite class to teach was first grade. She loved teaching the students to read and do math problems.
Walsh has had many memorable events throughout the years of teaching her students. She remembers tutoring one of her young special education students on how to read. They read a book about a fish, and he was confused about a word being in quotation marks. He looked up at her and asked, “How can a fish scream?”
She also had another memorable moment when she once decided to not curl her hair, which she usually does, before heading in to teach her class one day.
“My first graders came in looking at me with these big eyes and one pumpkin comes in at the end and was like, ‘You are usually so beautiful…’” she said. “And they couldn’t get the words out. The next one says, ‘What did you do?’”
She learned her lesson that day and decided to curl her hair for all her teaching days after.
Walsh’s husband is already retired, which inspired her to make this year her last as a teacher. She’s looking forward to traveling more with her husband to visit her younger son in Bloomington, Illinois, and go to some Chicago Cubs baseball games.
“It’s been quite a journey,” Walsh said. “I can’t believe it’s been 32 years. It’s gone so fast.”